I was able to make a good start on the HB Tansu this weekend. The weather was tolerable, still a bit on the humid side, and there was no other pressing chores that needed to be done. I started off by cutting all of the frame pieces to rough lengths. Then ran all of them through the thicknessing jig. It worked great and went fairly fast. Then it was time to mark out all of the joinery. There’s a lot of it, so it was a little intimidating. I started with the corner posts and marked them out for tenons top and bottom and all of the mortises for the front and rear bearers as well as the handle rails. My dedicated marking gauge worked as intended and made quick work of the layout. I also marked out the required grooves for each post. Then I moved on to the top and bottom rails and marked out the mortises that make up the corner joints and the required grooves to house the top and bottom panels.
I decided to start the actual cutting with the grooves. I find it much easier to keep track of the orientation of each piece if the groove are present. To plow the grooves I employed my secret weapon, I’ll write a post on this later, and made quick work of all but a few of them. This is the first project that I have done that requires stopped grooves. For those of you in the hand tool only column, you know that stopped grooves can be a pain to make. My approach was nothing special. I simply used a 6mm chisel to remove enough waste at the beginning and end of the groove to clear the skate on my plow plane. After that, I finished the groove with the plow plane.
From that point on it was just a matter of chopping the mortices. I chopped all of the required mortices but left the lapped portions for the bearers to be fitted to the actual bearer pieces. I also managed to fit the tenons for the rear frame and have it clamped together in the photo above.
So far, so good. No surprises, no mistakes. Of course there is a long way to go, so there will be plenty of chances for me to screw it up. Hey, I also drew up some sectional views to help visualize the location of all of the components and that drawing can be found below.